Healthcare Information Privacy. Free Essay.

Published: 2019-10-30
Healthcare Information Privacy. Free Essay.
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Information technologies Security Healthcare
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1828 words
16 min read

Privacy protection of patient health information and ethical health research procedures has presented valuable benefits to the society. Though research in healthcare matters is vital to improving patient's health, protection of the patients who are involved in the research from injury and preserving individual rights is essential to observing ethical requirements. Protecting personal privacy is justifiable as it guards the interest of the people. On the contrary, collecting health data on different levels for purposes of health research is considered beneficial to the society as a whole. It is also important to note that personal privacy of health data is of great value to the society since it allows research and other public activities to be undertaken while still protecting the dignity of individuals involved (Appari, & Johnson, 2010). At the personal level, health research has some unique benefits such as improved treatment, boosts diagnosis of diseases, and facilitates discovering of new preventions ways for illnesses.

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Patient privacy is a significant legal issue in healthcare delivery that must be observed otherwise it calls for strict legal actions to be undertaken. The privacy in health science encompasses things such as medical officers respecting body integrity of patients and the care providers also cannot involve in medical surveillance of the patients without their consent. Also, any information about the involved person cannot be accessed nor used any health care provider or medical facility without fast consulting the patient (Ball et al., 2013). The personal information should never be disclosed to any other individual no matter what unless they agree to it first.

A case where personal information has been shared without the patients consent has resulted in embarrassment, discrimination, harm, and affects the dignity of the individual involved. It has led people into being unwilling to completely disclose health data that they consider sensitive if they are not assured of the privacy of the information. Privacy assurance of the patient facilitates a more efficient communication and the relationship between the patient and their physician (Huang et al, 2014). Effective and regular communication between these two parties is regarded highly essential in providing quality health care. However, it's important to note that privacy levels as perceived by different patients vary in that what some consider intensely private may not be taken so seriously by others.

The social benefits that may be enjoyed by participating in health activities such as research can be boosted when willing participants are sure their private information is secure. Also, privacy protection enhances the quality of data for research and improves health initiatives. Withholding data by individuals leads to the entry of incomplete and inaccurate data which can increase disease vulnerabilities as the information is used for research and analysis of illness outcomes (Ball et al, 2013). The principles of bioethics that recognizes the respect for individual's places importance on the independence of people that allows them to make their decisions concerning matters that are of importance to own wellbeing.

Medical records that are considered to be private consist of mental and physical health, intimacy details, financial status, personal relationships, and social behaviors (Huang et al, 2014). A collection of personal data is limited and should always be obtained in a legal and fair means with the knowledge of the patient. Breaching the security to personal information can result in several undesirable scenarios. First, it may lead to intrinsic harm when others know that information. Secondly, the individual involved may lose their jobs, housing, or health insurance once the data becomes public (Appari, & Johnson, 2010). Psychological harm is also associated with the loss of personal health information and at other times could lead to the risk of identity theft.

Human Cloning

Human cloning refers to the making of a genetically identical duplicate of a person. It goes against the natural conception that leads to delivery of like twins which has generated many ethical concerns. Human cloning can either be cloning of cells or the reproductive cloning. Policy laws are being made in different countries where in the USA the rules are formulated both at the federal and state level (Lavi, 2014). The international organizations are also coming up with legislation to regulate human cloning. The laws are as follows and are categorized as per a country.

United States

Federal Level

The Association for Science Advancement in American provides a policy summary on human cloning of the two sides of the lawmaking debate. The Drug and Food Administration have the control to oversee medical studies that use human cloning technologies whereas the Public Institute of Research for Human Embryo develops policy reports on the same. Congressional proceedings are yet to pass the following National guidelines on human genetic duplication;

The Human Genetic Copying Proscription Act, 2007; the Act was presented on 5th June 2007 but did not go through. The policy was dismissed on the ground that it did not ban DNA replication. However, the law prohibited the embedding of genetic copies into women.

The Human Duplication Ban Act, 2003; the bill was made a law by the legislative body on Feb 27th, 2003 though the Senate representatives did not enact the law

The Human Replication Ban Act, 2001; the bill was supported by the parliament on July 31st, 2001 although the Senators never adopted it.

State Level

Some state governments are undertaking actions in some areas regarding human cloning. These areas include; assisted reproduction, cloning, embryonic stem cell, and egg retrievals. Approximately a number that is higher than a dozen of the states have introduced laws that prohibit cloning of stem cell and reproductive cloning (Plomer, 2013).

Some organizations in the country have also been started that advocate for public policies banning human cloning. They include;

The American Medical Association; the group reports on their place regarding reproductive creation through cloning technology to create offspring against how they take human duplication is used for research on biomedical matters.

The American Society for Cell Biology; they advocate for therapeutic cloning

The Clone Rights United Front; founded by Randolfe Wicker is a site for pro- human- cloning activists that supports human cloning to support reproductive purposes.

The Americans Association to Outlaw Cloning; its organization that is based in the U.S who aim is to promote globally comprehensive human cloning ban (Plomer, 2013).

United Kingdom

The Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001

The policy was an amendment to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990. The United Kingdom politicians have already given the green light to allow the cloning of human embryos for the development of stem cells for the regeneration of tissues with the exclusion of duplicating for purposes of reproduction. The first ever license was granted on 11th August 2014 to University of Newcastle researchers that allowed them to examine the treatments for Parkinsonism's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes (Plomer, 2013).

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 2008

The policy allowed the experiments on cross human- animal embryos. It was an amendment of the of the 2001 Cloning Act.

European Union

The European Biomedicine and Human Rights Conference in additional procedures they forbid human cloning but only countries such as Greece, Portugal, and Spain having ratified those protocols (Lavi, 2014). The Charters of Fundamental Rights of the European Union openly disallows cloning of reproductive cells.


Canadian Laws do not allow the following;

Cloning of humans

Trading of embryos, eggs, sperms and other sexual human materials

Cloning undifferentiated cells

Growing human embryos for research

The laws also prohibit altering the human DNA that can be hereditary acquired such as using animal DNA in the people. Donation of eggs, sperms, stem cells, and human embryos are allowed the reproduction and research (Lavi, 2014).

Ethics of Cloning

Ethics of cloning are defined by several ethical positions that are of concern to the practice and possibilities of human cloning. Cloning of humans has generated many ethical issues in the recent years where people tend to think that the clones will have identical characteristics as the cloned person. Though the clone and the cloned human possess similar genes, their personalities and traits differ. Advocates who support advances in therapeutic cloning argue that the clones can be used for the generation of tissues and at other times whole organs that can be of great use for treatment of people that are not compatible with the organ transplant (Voneky, & Wolfrum, 2013). The argument is that use of therapeutic cloning aids to achieve reduced use of immunosuppressive drugs. Also, they also claim that parents who find it difficult to procreate should be given access to the cloning technology (Peters, 2013).

Those who are opposed to the cloning knowledge argue that the technology has not developed enough to levels that are safe. They also claim that the expertise is prone to abuse which may lead instances where humans are created to be a source of body tissues and organs for harvesting (Kuhse, 2015). Further, concerns have been raised on regarding how the cloned individuals will relate their families and the society. On the other hand, religions have differing disagreements on the issue of cloning technology. Christians substantially oppose the human cloning practice stating that it disregards the dignity of the cloned person and the elemental correspondence of all individuals (Voneky, & Wolfrum, 2013). The Islam religion agrees to the technology of cloning of some body parts for the purpose of medical research but goes against the whole human body cloning (Sadeghi, 2015).

Issues That Pose Ethical And Bodily Questions On Human Cloning

Undermining the Idea of Procreating and Family

Most people believe that cloning will interrupt the normal mating processes in humans as everybody will desire an exact duplicate of individual selves but not just allow to give out part of their genetic information. Other arguments are based on the conception that cloning will disrupt the regular family element due to the introduction of cloned humans (Caplan, 2014).

Medical safety

Clones can cause birth defects when they grow too large while still inside the womb that may cause death during conception. Also, the success of a cloned egg coming to age is very minimal making note of near value to the hefty price tag it would demand if successful (Kuhse, 2015).

Personal identity confusion which may harm the psychological growth of the clone

The psychological and mental state of a clone will usually be disturbing once they start arguing within themselves whether they were created because their parents wanted them or just because someone somewhere needed an organ (Caplan, 2014). Every part of the life of a clone will always be compared to that of the donor where chances are the clone is nothing close to the donor which would cause mental torture.

Ambiguous relations between the clone and the progenitor

The relationship between the clone and the genetic donor is expected to be vague. The clones have no say, they do not take part in deciding whether to be created or not.

Concerns about eugenics

Cloning would lead to parents demanding specific traits for their children. The result is likely to cause the creation of super babies' who would be competing for everything with the regular people. With the advanced abilities of the clo...

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